The Paul Hornung Award is given annually by the Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) to the most versatile player in major college football. The Award was created by the LSC in January 2010 with the support of the Golden Boy himself, Paul Hornung, a native and lifelong resident of Louisville and member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
Hornung is considered by many the most versatile player in the history of college and pro football. He won the 1956 Heisman Trophy at quarterback for Notre Dame and was the No. 1 pick in the 1957 NFL draft. He played every position in the backfield during his career with the Irish, where he also punted, kicked, returned kicks and played defensive back. While in the NFL he was a multi-threat offensive back and prolific kicker. He was a member of four NFL championship teams as an all-pro halfback for the Green Bay Packers and led the NFL in scoring 1959-60-61, set the single season scoring record in 1960 with 176 points and was named League MVP following the 1961 season.
In the spirit of partnership with Paul Hornung, an advisory committee comprised of LSC staff and board members oversees all aspects of the Award. An independent panel of 16 college football experts selects the winner from among FBS players. Selection criteria include playing multiple positions on offense or defense, playing on both sides of the ball, contributing on special teams, making big plays in big games and prolific scoring, all attributes demonstrated by Hornung. Voting is tabulated and verified by the public accounting firm Dean Dorton Allen Ford PLLC.
The mission of the Award is to recognize and reward versatile, high-level performers in major college football (FBS teams), to help preserve the legacy of one of Louisville’s native sons and sports icons, and to promote Louisville as a great sports town.